Shadow Ridge quarterback Kody Presser was looking to make an immediate statement in Friday night’s season-opener at home against Mojave.
After rushing for 7 yards on the first play of the game, he fumbled the ball away to the Rattlers.
It would be his only costly mistake on the night.
Presser responded by rushing for 137 yards and four touchdowns on 11 carries, with all four scores coming in the first half, to lead the Mustangs to a 55-22 victory.
“I just needed to get the jitters out and stay positive,” Presser said. “We really wanted to make the run effective and play tough tonight.”
The Mustangs did just that rushing for 411 yards on 32 carries, with 309 yards coming in the first half.
Shadow Ridge running back Anthony Wheaton ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, and Xavier Gomez and Zedikiah Henderson each added touchdown runs.
The Mustangs (1-0) did a good job in containing Mojave’s offense for the most part, including dual-threat quarterback K’maurian Philogene, who completed 16 of 31 passes for 219 yards. The Rattlers managed 165 yards in the first half, and finished with 381 yards, but a lot of their production came after Shadow Ridge began rotating in reserves.
The game started off interesting, and it appeared as if the Mustangs would have their hands full with last year’s Class 3A runner-up, as the teams matched each other score-for-score in the first quarter.
Wheaton opened the scoring with a 50-yard run, and Shadow Ridge had an 8-0 lead. Mojave used as 12-play drive to answer, when Philogene found Isaiah Harper for a 10-yard scoring strike, to cut the lead to 8-6. Two plays later, Presser broke free for a 69-yard touchdown run to push Shadow Ridge’s lead to 14-6. But once again the Philogene-to-Harper connection came through for the Rattlers, this time for a 31-yard touchdown, trimming the lead to 14-12.
Mojave (0-1) couldn’t keep up in the second quarter, with two drives ending in interceptions. Presser scored on three short runs, and Wheaton rumbled in from 19 yards for his second TD to make it 41-12 at halftime.